[r-t] What is a 'regular' method

Richard Smith richard at ex-parrot.com
Mon Feb 6 16:53:25 UTC 2012

Graham John wrote, quoting Phil Earis:

>> On a practical point of view, your proposals classify 99+%
>> of rung doubles methods as irregular, indeed nearly everything
>> that is rung at odd stages. This is a nice irony.
> That is why I am trying to understand the accepted use of 
> the term. If it has not generally been applied to odd 
> stages then the definition could be constrained to even 
> stages only.

Leaving aside the point made by Phil, Rob and Don (and with 
which I agree) that it's not desirable to perpetuate, far 
less extend, the use of terms like 'regular', 'standard', 
'legitimate' that somehow denigrate methods not conforming 
to them, there is the problem that, with the possible 
exception of minor, they hasn't been consistently applied at 

Even with minor, I suspect more people would use the word 
'standard' rather than 'regular' to describe the 41 surprise 
(or the 29 treble bob, or the 30 plain, or whatever).  And I 
rather doubt whether many people would agree with the term 
'irregular' to describe a method like Fryerning Surprise; 
'non-standard' perhaps, but probably not 'irregular'.

So far as I can tell, today's use of the term 'regular' is 
just a hang-over from the '60s or earlier when the CC 
considered 'regular' to be synonymous with 'recognised' or 
'legitimate'.  Since then, the CC has stopped using the term 
'regular' and has started accepting a much wider range of 
methods.  Insofar as a straightforward definition is 
possible, I would suggest the definition of 'regular' you're 
looking for is a method that was recognised by the CC fifty 
years ago.  Of course, that's not unambiguous because many 
of the CC's requirements for methods were unwritten.  For 
example, methods with non-Plain Bob lead heads were not 
recognised, but there was no decision saying so.

But even supposing we can come up with a satisfactory 
definition of 'regular', which I very much doubt, I'm pretty 
sure that most stages and classes will be considered 
separately.  Four blows in one place are okay in doubles, 
but not in minor and above.  Minor methods need to produce 
an extent, but major methods don't.  Alliance methods are 
only acceptable if the treble hunts below some place and 
then treble-dodges above it.  Double Grandsire Doubles isn't 
okay because they didn't like any of the possible callings. 
Stedman's regular because it's Stedman.  And so on.

What would such a definition add?  If you want a way of 
selecting methods, far better to consider the individual 
properties separately.  By all means allow people to exclude 
methods with non-Plain Bob lead ends, or with single 
changes, or with penultimate places above the treble, or 
whatever else.  But I'm not sure what it adds to group them 
together under the name 'regular'.


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